Extraction of environmental samples for the determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

PAHs are widespread environmental contaminants and of ongoing interest to analytical chemistry.

PAHs cause severe health problems due to their persistence, hydrophobic character, bioaccumulation and carcinogenic properties. Therefore, a combined analytical methodology with an extraction method of sufficient accuracy and recovery and a smallest possible measurement uncertainty is needed.


The extractions were performed with the microwave extraction system Multiwave 3000 of Anton Paar, the predecessor of Multiwave PRO SOLV, with Rotor 8SOLV and the solvent safety system. Using Rotor 16SOLV MF100 the method is reliably adaptable for Multiwave PRO SOLV. The determination of the investigated 15 PAHs was carried out by GC-MS (Hewlett-Packard, HP6890 and HP5973) in SIM-Mode. Calibration was accomplished by internal standardization with isotope-labeled compounds.

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